Magic: The Gathering is a game of strategy, skill, and powerful cards. One such tactic that has enamored players for years is the mill strategy. The intent is simple: deplete your opponent’s library to zero cards, thereby winning the game. To achieve this, you’ll want to find the best MTG mill cards to hopefully help you win the game!
Today I want to introduce you to 50 of the top “mill” cards in all of Magic: The Gathering. These cards come from diverse sets, colors, and card types and you’ll see how the mill mechanic has evolved over time through this list.
Whether you’re an experienced player looking to fine-tune your deck or a newcomer aiming to explore alternative ways to win a game, these cards should definitley be the backbone for your mill strategy.
Many cards will be covered in this list, from infamous favorites like Jace, Memory Adept, and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, to obscure yet potent cards like Altar of the Brood and Increasing Confusion. This comprehensive list should give you the tools to execute a powerful mill strategy, leaving your opponents in the dust and paving your way to victory!
*IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THIS LIST* – Some of these cards simply work extremely well in a mill strategy. So while the card itself is not forcing your opponent to dump cards from his hand into the graveyard, the card will certainly damage them or their creatures heavily in the process. So if you’re wondering why a card that doesn’t mill is on the list, know that the card itself probably works REALLY WELL in a MTG milling deck.
That being said, let’s move on and talk about the mill strategy and why it’s effective.
Understanding Mill Cards in MTG
Mill cards in Magic: The Gathering focus on putting cards directly from your opponent’s library into their graveyard. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to deplete your opponent’s library so that they cannot draw any more cards, leading them to lose the game.
The term “mill” originates from the very well known artifact card “Millstone”, introduced way back in the 1994 Antiquities set, and has become a common term in the MTG community.
When building a mill deck, the main focus is on selecting cards that efficiently put cards from your opponent’s library into their graveyard. Blue is traditionally the most potent color for mill strategies, with black being a secondary color supporting this mechanic.
While building a mill deck, it’s important to remember that not all mill cards are created equal. As you sift through potential mill cards to include in your deck from the list below, I would highly recommend that you consider their mana costs, effects, and synergies with other cards in your collection.
When Do Mill Cards Work Best in MTG?
Milling strategies often work best when you can maintain a high level of control over the game. This includes countering your opponent’s critical spells, removing their threats, and keeping your opponent’s ability to do ANYTHING to a minimum.
Including a suite of control cards, like counterspells, removal, and other disruption tools, can help ensure your mill strategy is successful. That is why Blue decks work very well with the mill strategy as Blue decks are well known for being controlling.
So, when building a mill deck in Magic: The Gathering, select mill cards that can consistently target your opponent’s library. As you familiarize yourself with different mill cards and strategies, you’ll be well on your way to depleting your opponent’s library and securing victory.
The Evolution of Mill Cards
Over the years, Magic mill cards have evolved, becoming more potent and creative in their effects. As a player, you may have noticed this change as new sets were released. Mill deck players have over time found more effective cards to help make the milling technique more effective and less fun for their opponents.
As mentioned above, the first notable mill card was Millstone, which gave way to the term “mill” to describe cards that move your opponent’s cards from their library to their graveyard. This classic artifact allowed you to tap it and pay two mana to force your opponent to mill two cards and it was game on for this crazy strategy.
Fast-forward to more recent sets, and you’ll notice the addition of cards with more powerful milling effects, often at a lower cost. Cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable have emerged as a strong mill option, requiring just one Blue and one Black mana to make an opponent mill ten cards. This card demonstrated a significant improvement in efficiency compared to older milling options and made players even more effective with this technique.
And who hasn’t heard of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, who brought a new twist to the mill strategy. When Ulamog attacks, it exiles the top 20 cards of the defending player’s library, making it one of the most aggressive and powerful mill cards in all of Magic.
In addition to these evolutions brought on by cards like Ulamog, mill cards in Magic have diversified in terms of card type. You can now find mill effects in instants, sorceries, creatures, artifacts, and enchantments now more than ever. Some examples of those different types include:
- Instants: Surgical Extraction, Drown in the Loch
- Sorceries: Mind Funeral, Haunting Echoes
- Creatures: Hedron Crab, Silent Arbiter
- Artifacts: Mesmeric Orb, Ratchet Bomb
- Enchantments: Fraying Sanity, Jace’s Erasure
As the game has progressed, mill strategies have become more versatile and efficient, adapting to the changing landscape of the Magic meta. Always keep an eye on new sets, as there may be some exciting additions for your mill deck waiting for you to discover.
Now without further ado, here are 50 of the best MTG mill cards in the game (in no particular order.) One important note – Careful sharing this list….you just might make your opponent more powerful than you!!
The 50 Best MTG Mill Cards
1. Glimpse the Unthinkable
Glimpse the Unthinkable is a powerful mill card costing one blue and one black mana. This sorcery-speed card enables you to mill ten cards from an opponent’s library, making it an efficient and effective choice for mill decks in Magic: The Gathering.
2. Mind Funeral
Mind Funeral is another strong mill card that costs two generic mana and one black mana. As a sorcery, it allows you to reveal cards from an opponent’s library until four land cards are revealed. All other cards revealed this way are put into the graveyard, potentially milling a significant portion of their deck.
3. Archive Trap
Archive Trap is a unique instant-speed mill card that costs three generic mana and two blue mana. This card allows you to mill thirteen cards from an opponent’s library. However, if an opponent searched their library during that turn, you may cast Archive Trap without paying its mana cost, making it an impactful mill option.
4. Sword of Body and Mind
Sword of Body and Mind is a versatile artifact equipment card, granting the equipped creature +2/+2, protection from green and blue magic, and the ability to mill ten cards when dealing combat damage to a player. Costing three generic mana to cast and two more to equip, this equipment can turn any creature into a serious milling threat.
5. Mesmeric Orb
Mesmeric Orb is an artifact that costs two generic mana to cast. With its unique ability, it mills a card from a player’s library each time that player untaps a permanent. This can lead to significant milling over time and works against all players, making it a valuable asset in multiplayer games.
6. Hedron Crab
Hedron Crab is a one-blue-mana creature that, while small with a 0/2 body, has a potent milling ability. Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, target player must mill three cards. This ability synergizes well with landfall effects, adding consistent milling power to your deck.
7. Mind Sculpt
Mind Sculpt is a simple, yet effective mill card. For just one generic mana and one blue mana, this sorcery allows you to mill seven cards from an opponent’s library. This affordable option can be a great addition to your mill arsenal.
8. Jace, Memory Adept
Jace, Memory Adept is a powerful planeswalker that excels at milling strategies. Costing three generic mana, one blue mana, and one more blue or black mana, Jace, Memory Adept enters with four loyalty counters. His +1 ability makes both you and an opponent draw a card, while his 0 ability mills ten cards from a target player’s library, providing consistent milling pressure.
9. Sphinx’s Tutelage
Sphinx’s Tutelage is an enchantment that costs two generic mana and one blue mana. Whenever you draw a card, target opponent must mill two cards. If they share a color, repeat this process. This effect can quickly escalate, making Sphinx’s Tutelage a potent milling option.
Traumatize is a high-impact mill card that costs two blue mana and three generic mana. Its sorcery-speed effect mills half of an opponent’s library, rounded down. This card can deal a massive blow to your opponent’s deck, making it a game-changing addition to your mill strategy.
11. Mind Grind
Mind Grind is a sorcery that mills X cards from an opponent’s library, where X is the amount of mana spent to cast the spell. When you need to disrupt and frustrate your opponent and mill their library at the same time, consider this card.
12. Duskmantle Guildmage
Duskmantle Guildmage has an activated ability that mills an opponent for two cards whenever they lose life. It’s a very effective card as the game goes on and can help mill your opponent to a quick loss.
13. Maddening Cacophony
Maddening Cacophony is a strong mill card that can mill up to half of your opponent’s library with its kicker option. It helps quickly deplete your opponent’s deck and puts pressure on them to find answers.
14 – Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is a potent mill card that mills cards based on their converted mana cost. This card can single-handedly mill a significant portion of your opponent’s library, giving you a massive advantage.
15. Ruin Crab
Ruin Crab is a fantastic card for mill decks, as it consistently mills your opponent’s library with its Landfall trigger. Pair it with fetch lands to trigger it multiple times per turn and quickly deplete your opponent’s deck.
16. Fractured Sanity
Fractured Sanity is an impactful mill card that can target either player. It mills 14 cards and has the added bonus of cycling. When you don’t need it, cycling helps you find other useful mill cards or answers.
17. Murderous Cut
Murderous Cut is an effective removal option in mill decks, especially in decks where you’re doing some self-milling to eventually bring back creatures from the graveyard. With Delve, you can make use of cards in your graveyard and remove a pesky creature with just a single mana.
18. Visions of Beyond
Visions of Beyond is an essential card draw engine for mill decks. It draws you a single card regularly but can draw you three if an opponent’s graveyard has 20 or more cards. This helps you keep the momentum going and finding more mill cards.
19. Crypt Incursion
Crypt Incursion is a useful card to regain life against aggressive decks or prevent graveyard-based strategies. With instant speed, you can remove all creature cards from any targets’ graveyard and gain life for each one removed. The perfect accompaniment to an aggressive mill deck.
20. Surgical Extraction
Surgical Extraction is an effective mill support card that can remove a key combo piece or threat from your opponent’s deck. It’s particularly useful in controlling game-winning strategies or crucial cards, giving you an advantage.
21. Thieves Guild Enforcer
Thieves Guild Enforcer is a powerful 1/1 creature with flash. When it enters the battlefield or another Rogue enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent mills two cards. The Enforcer also gets +2/+1 and deathtouch if your opponents have eight or more cards in their graveyard.
22. Bloodchief’s Thirst
With Bloodchief’s Thirst, you can target either a creature or planeswalker. At its base, the card destroys a target creature or planeswalker with converted mana cost (CMC) 2 or less. If it’s kicked for an additional cost, it can eliminate any creature or planeswalker. This flexible removal spell is a great addition to your Mill deck.
23. Whispering Madness
Whispering Madness is a unique mill card that takes advantage of the Cipher mechanic. Each player discards their hand, mills equal to the number of cards they discarded, and then draws that many cards. When encoded on a creature, every time it deals combat damage, you can cast the spell again.
24. Nephalia Drownyard
As a land, Nephalia Drownyard provides a consistent mill effect. It can produce colorless mana or, for an activation cost, mill three cards from target player’s library directly to their graveyard. It’s an excellent choice for a control-focused mill deck that wants a continuous mill effect. Not to mention, Nephalian Drownyard probably has some of the coolest artwork on this list.
25. Fraying Sanity
Fraying Sanity is a powerful aura enchantment that attaches to a player. At the end of their turn, they mill cards equal to the number of cards put into their graveyard. This card pairs incredibly well with other mill effects, creating exponential pressure on your opponent.
26. Startled Awake
Startled Awake is a versatile card that transforms between a sorcery and a creature. As a Sorcery, it forces an opponent to mill 13 cards. When it becomes its creature form, Persistent Nightmare, you can return it to your hand by connecting your combat damage, enabling you to cast it again. Milling 13-cards could be a game changer so this is a powerful card for mill decks.
27. Thought Scour
Thought Scour is a cheap and efficient instant-speed mill option. It targets a player who mills two cards, and then you draw a card. This cantrip keeps you cycling through your deck while setting up your future plays.
28. Patient Rebuilding
Patient Rebuilding keep you constantly filled with resources and mill your opponent at the same time! At the beginning of your upkeep, your opponent mills three cards and you draw a card for each land milled this way. A steady mill and draw engine in one enchantment.
29. Psychic Corrosion
Another enchantment with potent mill capabilities, Psychic Corrosion triggers whenever you draw a card. Your opponent mills two cards in response, making it a great combo with card draw mechanics to efficiently mill their library.
30. Psychic Drain
With life gain and mill integrated together, Psychic Drain drains an opponent’s life equal to the number of cards you make them mill. As it has the converge mechanic, the more colors of mana you use to cast it, the more cards you mill, making it even more potent in multicolor decks.
31. Force of Vigor
Force of Vigor is a powerful yet flexible card to consider in your mill strategy. It allows you to destroy up to two target artifacts and/or enchantments at instant speed, which can disrupt your opponent’s plans and help fuel your milling engine. Costing two green mana with an alternate casting cost of removing a green card from your hand, it ensures you stay ahead of the game.
32. Wheel and Deal
Wheel and Deal serves as an excellent draw-and-mill engine. For four mana, you can make each player draw seven new cards while you get to draw an additional card. Alongside its instant-speed versatility, it is a fantastic way to fuel your mill strategy and keep your opponents on their toes.
33. Tome Scour
Tome Scour is a staple in mill decks, and for good reason. Costing only a single blue mana, it mills the top five cards from a player’s library. With its low mana cost and simple yet effective milling capability, it is an efficient addition to any mill deck.
34. Breaking – Entering
Breaking – Entering is a powerful mill card that targets a player to put the top eight cards of their library into their graveyard. For two mana, you get a considerable amount of mill and can quickly deplete your opponent’s library. It works best paired with its fuse card counterpart, Entering.
35. Shared Trauma
Shared Trauma is a flexible card suited for multiplayer games. It allows each player to mill a card for each one mana spent collectively. This leads to a massive milling effect that is powerful, yet potentially dangerous if you’re not well-prepared for the outcome.
Grindstone is one of the most effective mill cards available. For one mana, it can be tapped to target a player to put the top two cards of their library into their graveyard. If these cards share a color, repeat the process. As a recurring mill engine, Grindstone is invaluable in any mill deck.
37. Painter’s Servant
Painter’s Servant is an exceptional utility card, especially when combined with Grindstone. It changes the color of all cards in play and in players’ hands, as well as libraries and graveyards. Such synergy with Grindstone creates a potent infinite mill combo that can deplete a player’s library in no time.
38. Diminishing Returns
Diminishing Returns is another solid mill engine. For four mana, each player shuffles their hand and graveyard into their library and then draws seven cards. Additionally, you exile the top ten cards of your library. This card efficiently disrupts your opponent’s strategy while refueling your mill engine.
39. Keening Stone
Keening Stone is a powerful late-game mill threat. For six mana, it can be tapped to target a player to mill cards equal to the number of cards in their graveyard. This exponential milling effect can quickly deplete a player’s library, making it a must-have in any mill deck strategy.
40. Blue Sun’s Zenith
Blue Sun’s Zenith is a flexible card that scales with the game’s progression. It allows you to target a player, who draws X cards for X mana you spend. While primarily used as a draw engine for yourself, it can also be used as a win condition when targeting your opponent, forcing them to draw more cards than they have left in their library.
41. Altar of the Brood
Altar of the Brood mills a player for one card whenever a permanent enters the battlefield under their control. Its efficient cost and utility in mill-focused decks make it a card to look out for. Combine Altar with a lot of low mana cost creatures and you have the makings of a tough day for your opponent.
42. Murktide Regent
Murktide Regent is a versatile and powerful card. If played at the right time, it can fuel your mill plan by delving cards from your graveyard, providing a strong evasive creature. It’s definitely a card to keep an eye on.
43. Fleet Swallower
Fleet Swallower has the ability to mill half of an opponent’s library, rounded up, whenever it deals combat damage to them. That’s right…HALF of your opponent’s library is gone, poof! This card is a definite game-changer, providing value and mill throughout the game. How this card is not banned, I don’t know!
44. Curse of Surveillance
Curse of Surveillance is a potent mill enchantment. When attached to an opponent, it forces them to draw additional cards during their draw step, effectively milling their deck faster. This card is a great addition to mill strategies and can make your games more interesting by putting pressure on your opponents.
45. Memory Deluge
Memory Deluge is an excellent card advantage and selection spell for mill decks. It allows you to efficiently dig through your deck to find key mill cards while filling your graveyard with fuel for delve and other graveyard synergies. This card should not be underestimated.
46. Gisa, Glorious Resurrector
Gisa, Glorious Resurrector allows you to leverage your mill strategy even further by reanimating creatures your opponents have milled. Adding this card to your mill deck can create additional threats and synergies, making it harder for your opponents to deal with your board.
47. Malevolent Hermit
Malevolent Hermit is a valuable inclusion in mill decks due to its disruptive potential. Its ability to counter noncreature spells helps protect your mill strategy while also contributing to the milling process through its disturb ability, which returns it to the battlefield with increased mill power.
48. Slogurk, the Overslime
Slogurk, the Overslime is a promising card for mill decks, turning your mill plan into a formidable board presence. As you mill cards from your library, Slogurk gets stronger, eventually becoming a huge threat that can trample over your opponents’ defenses.
49. Rite of Oblivion
Rite of Oblivion is a versatile removal spell that can handle both creatures and noncreature permanents, helping you maintain control over the game state. By exiling cards from your graveyard, you can get rid of troublesome threats and continue to mill your opponent’s deck.
50. The Meathook Massacre
The Meathook Massacre provides a unique way to utilize your mill strategy and potentially win the game. As you fill your opponents’ graveyards with creatures, The Meathook Massacre can punish them by dealing damage, clearing their board, and further milling their decks.
How could we possibly have a list of mill cards without including one of the best, Millstone! As mentioned way above, Millstone came out in 1994 with the introduction of the Antiquities set and it has been a mainstay in decks for almost 30-years. It’s a simple card, tapping 2 mana and the card to send two of your opponents top two library cards to the graveyard. It’s a fun card to play and should be in your mill deck merely for posterity so all will know about the OG mill card!
Concluding Thoughts on MTG Mill Cards
As you dive into the world of MTG mill cards, keep in mind that finding the right balance between milling and controlling the board is essential. With various mill cards available, you can experiment to find the optimal playstyle for your deck. Here are a few last minute tips when it comes to MTG mill decks:
- Powerful planeswalkers such as Jace, Memory Adept add value in mill strategies due to his +0 ability, which mills 10 cards from the opponent’s deck. Pairing planeswalkers with other mill-focused options is an effective way to create consistency in your game plan.
- Some mill cards, like Increasing Confusion, offer flexibility with their flashback ability. This feature provides extra value as you can cast the card from your graveyard, doubling its milling effect during the game.
- In addition to these cards listed above, you can explore synergy-focused combinations to strengthen the mill strategy. Collaborating cards like Dreamborn Muse and Circu, Dimir Lobotomist can create powerful milling engines in your deck that will frustrate your opponent every game.
- Remember, building a mill deck requires understanding your opponent’s strategies and being adaptable. By leveraging the 51 best MTG mill cards, you will create an exciting and dynamic deck that keeps your opponents on their toes.
All for now! I hope you enjoyed my list of top MTG mill cards. If you can build the right deck around these, you can certainly have a LOT of fun playing the game. If you have any questions about mill decks or would like to see more about these types of cards, hit me up in the contact page below. Have a great day and keep investing in Magic!